Thursday, July 26, 2018

Racing for Emilio: Two-year-old boy with rare disorder is focus of fundraiser

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

Emilio Rosas is a bright, smiling two-year-old boy who looks
as huggable as can be.

But since the day he was born, he has been teaching his mom and dad to expect the unexpected.

“It was late November of 2015, and I was pregnant with Emilio,” Monica Rosas recalls. “I felt contractions, so I called my husband (Jesus) to let him know.

“I thought I had time,” she continued. “With our first child, Noemi, I was in labor for 17 hours.”

But baby Emilio didn’t see it that way.

He was born just two hours later, in a CFD ambulance that had rushed to the Rosas home in Clearing and then headed to MacNeal Hospital. Emilio had arrived in the world before the ambulance could make it to Berwyn.

Months later, the unexpected occurred again, but gradually.

“When Emilio was about age 4-5 months, I noticed that something was different,” Monica recalled. “His development was lagging. He wasn’t pushing himself up or rolling over or trying to sit or crawl.”

She brought it up with the family pediatrician, who told Monica not to worry.

But when he was nine months old, he was confirmed with what child development experts call global delay.

A month later, Emilio started various types of therapy: physical, occupational, speech, aqua, music and more.

Monica and Jesus were perplexed and worked to find the correct diagnosis, which they finally received when Emilio was 15 months old.

The toddler had a rare genetic disorder known as Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome.

PTHS affects a specific gene in chromosome 18, called TCF4. PTHS is characterized by developmental delays, possible breathing problems of episodic hyperventilation and/or breath-holding while awake, recurrent seizures/epilepsy, gastrointestinal issues, lack of speech, and distinctive facial features.

Since the gene that causes Pitt Hopkins was only found in 2007, currently there are approximately 550 people in the world diagnosed with this syndrome; however, experts believe there are many more.

Emilio’s diagnosis “gave me some answers,” Monica said. “Before that, I felt lost. Who is my resource? Who do I talk to? But once I got the diagnosis, I connected with other Pitt-Hopkins families on Facebook. It helped me quite a bit to know that we’re not alone.”

The Rosas family was not alone a year ago, when they
organized the first-ever Race for Emilio, a 5k walk/run that attracted nearly 300 men, women and children—with all proceeds going to the Pitt Hopkins Research Foundation.

Building upon last year’s success, the Rosas are inviting the community to take part in Race for Emilio again this year.

The event is set for Sunday, September 9 at the John Husar I & M
The Rosas family at the 2017 Race for Emilio.
Canal Trail—near Archer and Willow Springs Road, in Willow Springs.

An “open corral” starts at 8 a.m. The run begins at 8:30, and the walk steps off 15 minutes after that. The celebration should wrap up by 11.

Now through race day, registration fees are $40 for runners, $30 for walkers. To register for the event or to simply make a donation, visit

To learn more about Emilio, his journey with Pitt Hopkins and more, visit

The Rosas are both native Southwest Siders who attended Hubbard High School and later met on a coed volleyball team at Archer Park. They married in 2012 and purchased a home in Clearing.

They are inviting all Southwest Siders--and anyone, really, who wants to be a part of this fun event--to register now and be there on September 9,

These days, Emilio’s reaching and grasping have become more refined and coordinated. His eye-hand coordination is improving through container play, shape sorters, and puzzle pegs. He can rotate and pivot while lying on his stomach to reach for his toys that are nearby. Emilio can clap and bang two objects together.

He has better head control, is able to pull to a sitting and standing position. Emilio is able to sit without support for a longer period of time.

Due to Emilio’s low-muscle tone, he was evaluated and provided with a pair of SMO orthotics which help stabilize his ankles for standing and walking. He also has a gait trainer to assist him in a standing position and develop his walking skills.

Emilio’s communication is limited but he is able to clap as he is praised, will push away objects he does not want, gives high-fives, hands over his pacifier on demand, attempts to wave bye-bye, and is currently exploring an Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) device that helps expand his communication skills.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Crime News Update

Editor's note: The crime news reported by the Southwest Chicago Post---taken directly from Chicago Police Department incident reports---is not by any means an exhaustive catalogue of all crime reported in the Chicago Lawn (8th) District. For example, it typically does not include news of crimes committed in the eastern and southern sectors of the district---because the Southwest Chicago Post's coverage area is primarily the neighborhoods that border Midway Airport and secondarily because including the relatively large volume of crime news from elsewhere in the district would be a logistical challenge. We make this note to offer a little helpful perspective and remind everyone that while crime is definitely a concern in all parts of the district (as it always has been), crime remains relatively low overall in the western section of the district. May all of us work together diligently to keep it that way. May all of us also remember that a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

* * *

Charge man with sexual assault of child
Jose Silva

A 54-year-old Chicago Lawn man was charged with criminal sexual assault of a minor and was due in court earlier this week.

Jose D. Silva, of the 3500 block of West 66th Street, was arrested without incident on the 6200 block of South Oak Park, at 8:30 a.m. Monday, July 16.

Police said Silva sexually assaulted a child younger than age 13, from September 2010 to June 2014, in a home in the 3500 block of West 66th Street. They declined to disclose further details.

Claim Bridgeview man cut man’s face

A 51-year-old Bridgeview man was charged with battery after he allegedly cut a 43-year-old
Ervin Schlosser
man’s face in an incident that occurred at about 8:50 p.m. Sunday, July 8 on the street in front 3951 W. Columbus.

Ervin Schlosser, of the 8200 block of South 76th Avenue, was apprehended at the scene and is due in court at 51st and Wentworth on July 30.

Police said the victim was cut with “an unknown cutting instrument” and refused medical attention.

According to public records, Schlosser has been arrested four times by CPD in the past year, on such charges as criminal trespass to state land and obstruction of traffic by a non-motorist.

Armed bandit hits Burger King
An armed bandit robbed the Burger King at 3220 W. Columbus at 6:24 p.m. Sunday, July 22. A manager told police that the man posed as a customer before pulling a pistol and saying, “Give me the money from the register.” A cashier handed over about $200, and the thug ran away south on Kedzie. He was described as a black man age 18-25, about 5-foot-7 and 120 pounds, with brown eyes and a medium complexion. He wore a black hoody and dark blue jeans. 

Construction worker robbed at gunpoint
A 63-year-old construction worker was robbed at gunpoint as he sat in his truck at 4600 S. Kedzie at 5:45 a.m. Wednesday, July 18. The victim told police that two thugs walked up, with one pulling a pistol and demanding his wallet. The victim complied, and the bandits ran away west into the alley behind Columbia Explorers Academy. They were described as black men age 18-25, about 5-foot-6 and 150 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair. They both wore dark-colored hoodies.

Charge Clearing man with possession of knife, drugs
Ryan Bowen

A “suspicious person” call to police led to the arrest of a 24-year-old Clearing man in front of 6135 S. Oak Park at 10:10 a.m. Saturday, July 14.

Ryan Bowen, of the 6100 block of South Oak Park, was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of a deadly weapon.

Police said they recovered a knife from Bowen’s waistband, but they declined to say what the substance was.

According to public records, Bowen has been arrested eight times by CPD since 2014, on such charges as assault, reckless conduct, criminal trespass to vehicles and theft.

Claim man was in stolen vehicle near 59th and Neenah
Alejandro Rodriguez

A 20-year-old Gage Park man was charged with criminal trespass to a vehicle after a stolen vehicle he was a passenger in crashed at about 12:45 p.m. Saturday, July 14 near 59th and Neenah.

Alejandro Rodriguez, of the 3500 block of West 58th Place, was apprehended at the scene. 

A charge of reckless conduct was added after he was “observed running into traffic and running through individual private property” after the crash, police said.

According to public records, Rodriguez was arrested by CPD last fall on a robbery charge.

Bust West Sider after traffic stop in Garfield Ridge
Mark Chalmers

A 39-year-old West Side man was arrested during a traffic stop in front of 5848 S. Mayfield at 7:47 p.m. Saturday, July 14.

Mark A. Chalmers, of the 700 block of North Sawyer, was charged with driving on a revoked license, lying to officers about his identity, driving without insurance and running a stop sign. 

A charge of forgery was added after police found an undisclosed amount of counterfeit money on him, a CPD spokesman added.

According to public records, Chalmers was arrested by CPD earlier this year on a charge of criminal trespass to land.

Charge Clearing man with disrupting traffic

A 54-year-old Clearing man was charged with obstruction of traffic by a non-motorist after
Wayne Potenberg
police apprehended him at 6301 S. Cicero at 4:42 p.m. Sunday, July 15.

Wayne R. Potenberg, of the 5200 block of West 64th Place, was “observed walking in between vehicles in the traffic lanes on Cicero Avenue, during traffic flow, causing vehicles to swerve to avoid striking him,” police said.

Additionally, they said Potenberg was wanted on a warrant, although they declined to disclose the nature of the warrant.

According to public records, Potenberg has been arrested five times since 2014, on such charges as domestic battery and possession of a controlled substance.

Woman charged with domestic battery again
Jeanette Rivera

A 23-year-old West Elsdon woman was charged with domestic battery and violating an order of protection after she was arrested at 7:25 a.m. Monday, July 9 at 4029 W. 63rd St. 

Jeanette Rivera “was placed into custody after she was involved in a verbal altercation with a relative who she has been ordered to stay away from,” police said. “After the verbal altercation, she struck the victim in the mouth with a closed fist, causing minor bruising.” 

According to public records, Rivera has been arrested six times this year by CPD—three times for domestic battery.

Woman claims man touched her at carnival
Daniel Carillo

A 26-year-old McKinley Park man was charged with misdemeanor battery after he allegedly touched an 18-year-old woman inappropriately while she was walking at the St. Symphorosa Family Fest, 62nd and Austin, at about 9:45 p.m. Sunday, July 15.

Daniel Carillo, of the 2400 block of West 34th Place, is due in court at 51st and Wentworth on Sept. 12.

Clearing man charged with domestic battery again
Joseph Holubek

A 44-year-old Clearing man was charged with domestic battery after he allegedly hit a 16-year-old boy in the face during an argument in the 6100 block of South Austin at 11:05 a.m. Thursday, July 12.

Joseph Holubek, of the 6000 block of South Massasoit, was arrested the following day at his home.

According to public records, Holubek has been arrested five times by CPD in the past 15 months, four times on domestic battery charges.

More women busted in sweep of Cicero Avenue
Ina Noreen

Two more women have been arrested in what appears to be a police sweep of streetwalking sex workers and others on Cicero Avenue, north of Archer—since CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson publicly vowed to the Archer Heights Civic Association that he would lead the way to eliminate prostitution for good in that area.

• Charged with soliciting a ride on the public way was 50-year-old Ina M. Noreen, of the 6300 block of Walnut, Downers Grove.

According to police, at about 8:40 p.m. Wednesday, July 18 at 4856 S. Cicero, she was “observed by officers on direct patrol regarding complaints of prostitution on Cicero Avenue. She was seen motioning to cars, which slow down as they passed by. These actions are known to officers to be consistent with prostitutes plying their trade.”

• Charged with soliciting a ride on the public way was 39-year-old Katie E. Howard, of the
Katie Howard
4500 block of South Lawler.

According to police, at about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 18 at 4815 W. 49th St., she “was seen pacing back and forth along the roadway and waving down passing vehicles. Officers then observed a vehicle honk the horn and slow down, to which the offender quickly began to walk towards the vehicle. This behavior is known to officers to be consistent with prostitutes plying their trade.”

Thieves swipe pop crates from Pete’s
Thieves in a white Ford van stole about 50 plastic soda crates from behind Pete’s Fresh Market, 4700 S. Kedzie, at about 11:45 a.m. Sunday, July 22. A manager shared surveillance video with police and noted that the crates are worth about $3 each. The thieves were described Hispanic men about 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds, with long, dark hair and light complexions. The manager noted that thieves have stolen crates before from behind the store. 

Burglar on bike takes cash from unlocked vehicle
A 52-year-old West Elsdon woman told police that her unlocked vehicle was burglarized as it sat parked in the street in the 5300 block of South Harding just after 5 p.m. Thursday, July 19. Police responding to a call of a suspicious person on a bicycle, checking car doors, were told by the victim that the burglar took about $75 from her vehicle. The burglar was described only as a boy or man age 15-18.

# # #

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Best Museum You've Never Heard Of

Opinion by John T. "Red" Ryan

IN OUR FAIR city, we are fortunate in having some really great, world class museums. One only need to invoke their names in resurrecting great memories of days well spent viewing the great exhibits  of widely divergent subject matter. We have Museum of Science & Industry, Field Museum of Natural History, Adler Planetarium & Astronomical Museum and the Shedd Aquarium. All of these major league institutions decorate the picturesque Lakefront. But there are many minor and lesser known museums; each of which has a specialty in subject matter and are worthwhile investing one's time. 

ONE SUCH PRIVATELY owned and operated institutions is THE FIRE MUSEUM OF GREATER CHICAGO. It is the labor of love of a group of "regular fellers", most of whom are retirees from the Chicago Fire department. As with most such 'amateur' endeavor, the results are outstanding and highly "professional." (Remember that the dictionary origin of the word amateur is one who pursues an activity for the love of it.)

THE MUSEUM, WHICH has been establishes for about 20 years, has been at its present site for about 7 years. This location is the former Fire Station home of Engine Company 123 and its being there is due in large part to the efforts of 14th Ward Alderman Edward M. Burke. Ed is himself, a great Historian, especially when it comes to Chicago History. As such, he has penned two books on our City's History: INSIDE THE WIGWAM: Chicago Presidential Conventions (1996) and END OF WATCH: Chicago Police Killed In The Line Of Duty (2006).   

THOSE OF US in the Southwest Side communities will find the museum most easily accessible; not having to travel but a few minutes to its location. And that address would be in the former Firehouse of Engine Company 123, 5218 S. Western. Parking is plentiful and neither the restored firehouse nor the antique fire vehicles nor the historical artifacts displayed within will disappoint. Displays dedicated to great historical events (such as the Chicago Fire) are presented along with uniforms and firefighting gear from bygone days. of particular interest is the original Squad # 10 Fire Truck. Being a 1928 vintage vehicle, it is restored to it original pristine appearance and looks ready to respond to the next alarm!

THE MUSEUM RUNS an open house on the 4th Saturday of every month (excluding December). It is available for special tours by arrangement with the volunteer staff. There is no admission; but all contributions to the museum are greatly appreciated. 

SO, THE NEXT time you're seeking something to do with the family (and it's a 4th Saturday), come on over. The hours of operation are 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Their next open house will be held on Saturday, July 28.

Website is:
~ ~ ~

John T. “Red” Ryan is a retired Chicago police officer and Garfield Ridge resident. 

Health Department Will Spray Insecticide in Chicago Lawn on Wednesday Night

Crews hired by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) will spray insecticide throughout most of the Chicago Lawn neighborhood on Wednesday, July 25, in the evening.

The insecticide is designed to kill mosquitoes that may be carrying the West Nile Virus. Areas targeted are those where infected mosquitoes have been found in recent days.

Weather permitting, the spraying will begin at dusk (abut 7:30 p.m.) and continue through the night until approximately 1 a.m., with licensed mosquito-abatement technicians in trucks riding up and down streets and alleys, spraying an ultra-low-volume insecticide spray up into the air.

Here is a map of the area to be sprayed--basically from Western Avenue on the east to Central Park Avenue on the west, 59th Street on the north to about 75th Street on the south:

Here is a link to a larger version of the map:

"When our mosquito traps indicate that the West Nile virus may pose health risks in a community, we take action quickly," said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. "But spraying is just one step to protect our city, residents must also take appropriate steps to protect themselves."

CDPH reminds residents to take precautions against mosquitoes that may carry the virus, including:

• Use insect repellent that contains DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
• Eliminate standing water. This includes emptying water from flowerpots, gutters, pool  covers, pet water dishes and birdbaths regularly.
• Keep grass and weeds short to eliminate hiding places for adult mosquitoes.
• When outside between dusk and dawn, wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing including long pants, long sleeve shirts, socks and shoes.
• Check that all screens, windows and doors are tight-fitting and free of holes and tears
• Check on neighbors regularly who may need additional assistance, including the elderly.

Each year, CDPH conducts a mosquito surveillance, prevention and control program to protect residents from West Nile virus and other diseases spread by mosquitoes.

Though mosquitoes found to carry the Zika virus are not native to Chicago, CDPH has launched a recent campaign, #StopZika, to educate residents traveling to Zika-infested regions how to protect themselves. The campaign also reminds residents how the department is working to prevent mosquito-borne viruses that are endemic to Chicago, including West Nile virus.

In addition to spraying, CDPH's mosquito abatement program includes dropping larvacide in catch basins--starting in spring--which helps limit the number of mosquitoes that can carry the virus, and regularly testing mosquitoes caught in traps throughout the city.

The material being used to control the adult mosquitoes, Zenivex™, is approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and has been widely applied to control mosquitoes in outdoor residential and recreational areas across the city. The spray will be applied by licensed mosquito abatement technicians from Vector Disease Control International, described by CDPH officials as a leader in the mosquito control industry. Guiding the crews through the streets will be supervisors from the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation. 

While the spray is not believed to be harmful to people or pets and is routinely sprayed in residential areas across the nation, residents of targeted neighborhoods may choose to stay indoors and close their windows while spraying is underway, as an extra precaution. CDPH staff are leaving door hangers in parts of the affected areas to notify residents that the spraying will occur.

"Spraying to kill adult mosquitoes is an effective component of an integrated pest management program," added CDPH Environmental Health Medical Director Cort Lohff, M.D. "It is our expectation that this effort will further limit the mosquito population and prevent cases of human illness in Chicago."

As part of ongoing response efforts, CDPH will continue to collect mosquitoes from traps located throughout the city and test these mosquitoes for West Nile virus. Using results of these tests, CDPH will determine the appropriate steps to be taken in order to best protect Chicago residents.

West Nile virus cannot be transmitted from person-to-person. Instead, it is transmitted strictly through mosquitoes.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Girl Scout Troop 20383 Builds, Installs ‘Little Library’ at Valley Forge Park

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

Most folks would agree that there is one public library in Garfield Ridge.

Now are there are two.

Thanks to the Girl Scouts of Cadette Troop 20383, a little
library has been installed next to the playground at Valley Forge Park, 7001 W. 59th St.

“This was part of their bronze award project,” said Christina Sanchez a co-leader of the troop with Rebecca Zamora. “The girls decided this is what they wanted to do; so they planned it and made it happen.”

The girls responsible for the neighborhood improvement are Isabella Escobedo, Emma Woods, Sophia Montoya, Megan Wolynia, Isabela Aguilar, Maya Sanchez, Graciela Aguilar, Mary Alice Baxter, Sophia Mendez, Sarah Sandoval, Genevieve Pedroza, Emily Sikora and Briana Figgins.

As is so often the case, Scout moms and dads played a role. At the installation, dads helped dig a post hole, plant the little library (basically a small bookshelf atop a post) in the hole, work with the girls to mix and pour concrete to anchor the library in the ground—and then stood back as the girl posed for a victory photo.

Painted primarily with Girl Scout green and white, the little library bears the troop’s number.

It is filled with donated books—everything from “read to me” books for babies to adult fiction and non-fiction.

On hand by invitation to offer her support and donate a book
(“When Penny Met POTUS”) was new 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares.

“These types of activities are what make this neighborhood such a good place to live and raise a family,” Tabares said. “”Anything I can do to support our local Scouts and other youth groups, I gladly will.”

Troop 20383 meets regularly at the Clearing Branch Library, 6423 W. 63rd Place. The troop is a dozen strong and includes girls—all sixth and seventh graders--who attend several schools in the area.

“The feedback we’ve gotten from parents is this is something they want to see,” added Sanchez, now in her fifth year as a Girl Scout leader. “The girls are proud of what they’ve accomplished, as they should be, and they are already talking about building and installing more little libraries at other parks in the area, like Hale and Wentworth.”

People are welcome to visit the self-service library, take a book to read and bring it back—or take a book and replace it with a donated book. It operates entirely on the honor system.

The Little Free Library movement was launched with humble origins in 2009 by a Wisconsin man who built and installed one on his front lawn to honor the memory of his departed mother.

Less than a decade later, the book-exchange movement has mushroomed into more than 60,000 Little Free Libraries across the nation and around the world.

Well done, girls! Thank you for making Garfield Ridge a better place.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

History Walking Tour Set for Aug. 4 at Chicago Portage Site at 48th and Harlem

All are invited to a free "nature walk" through the Chicago Portage National Historic Site, 4800 South Harlem, set for 10:00 a.m. Saturday, August 4.

Statue depicting early explorers at the Chicago Portage.
Tour guide John Langer will lead the walk. Attendees will learn about the “birth story of Chicago,” from the geological beginnings of the Portage to how it is still functioning in Chicago today.

The tour is approximately a half mile in length on a gravel path through the woods. It will take about two hours. Those taking part are advised to wear long pants and walking shoes or boots. The tour will be held rain or shine.

One of only two national historic sites in Illinois, the Chicago Portage National Historic site is said to be the only place where people today can stand on the same ground walked by all the early explorers, early settlers and creators of Chicago.

The late Chicago Tribune columnist John Husar, after touring the site, called it “Our sacred ground."

For more information call Gary Mechanic at 773-590-0710 or visit

Friends of the Chicago Portage promotes the historic interpretation, ecological restoration and appropriate development of the Chicago Portage National Historic Site through volunteer advocacy, public events and other projects that raise public awareness of the site’s history and significance.